The “De La Heart” Mom
Girodana Vogel is the mom to one child; Shiva 7 months
Have you ever spoken to someone whose voice is so calming you want to both take a nap with it but also listen super carefully because their words are liquid gold? That’s what it’s like talking to Gigi, the Chief Empowerment Officer of delaheart. She’s carefully and thoughtfully curated a world on her website and instagram that is engaging and meaningful. Since following her, I’ve learned to slow down and give myself the time I need to find my inner peace and balance. She is a new mom (let’s welcome her to the club guys!) and is raising her baby Shiva with the same principles she hold for herself.
Here is our Q + A:
First of all, I’d like to point out that she said she was honored to be featured on my mom blog. UMMM, I have 2600 followers and she’s the one who is honored. I’m floored. So far, this is my favorite Mom Talk interview of all time. Let’s hope she keeps this up, guys…
A: This is something that I started doing for myself a little over a year ago. I was talking about trivial things–you know, what to expect after having a baby and that sort of thing but I started doing interviews with moms and people kinda liked it. I think it’s because people go through their journey as a mom and you feel so alone and when you realize you’re not alone, it makes you feel better I guess.
I explained a bit as to why my website didn’t have that many interviews–you know, I have 3 kids, I have no time, etc… She was unfazed. Maybe it’s because she hasn’t had a chance to read the amazing content on RedForThought.Com, maybe it’s because she doesn’t care–WHO KNOWS! What we do know is, she’s honored to be featured. (Oh yes, I mentioned this already–ok let’s move on.)
A: You know how hard it is (motherhood)…we’re having us a time.
G: After my one, I don’t know how people have two, three or four.
A: It gets so much easier–you posted about it the other day! 6 months and it’s a completely different world.
G: Yeah. Now I’m like “oh I can do it again,” but when you’re in it you’re like “I can’t do this!!” It’s such a rollercoaster.
A: It is. And it’s so encompassing. Every aspect of your life completely changes–not just “oh I had a baby and I can’t go out to dinner anymore,” but it’s every aspect.
How long have you had Delaheart? How did you come up with it?
G: So, since I was 16 I always worked in Fashion. I worked in New York in the wholesale and retail industry. I did a lot of the business side of fashion, and a bit of the editorial side up until I was like 25. I did it all through college (she went to college for Finance).When I turned 25, that life started to feel very empty. I think everyone around that age go through their first shift in life and it just started to feel really superficial and it started to affect my health. I was operating out of a place where I was getting sick–not feeling well, ten coffees a day…living in New York you’re like “go go go” so I was just doing whatever I could to keep going–at the expense of hurting myself.
She was not taking care of herself. And while she was suffering, she was also learning valuable lessons. She was slowly creating what we know today to be De La Heart–so bravo, NYC!
G: One day I knew I needed to do something about it. So I did the integrated nutrition certification only because I was dating someone at the time who was really into health and wellness. He suggested I look into a different approach about your health. So I went to this holistic doctor–back in 2010 when no-one knew what holistic medicine was. She kind of showed me a different path to health, so I started doing a bunch of cleanses. This whole thing was to cure myself of all the UTI’s (she had gotten six in one year–ouch!)
A: And at this point, are you still working in the fashion world, or had you given that up?
G: Career wise I was doing Real Estate on the side but I was definitely transitioning out. I was “passion wise” checked out but I couldn’t just leave my job. So in the meantime I got my real estate license, doing a little bit of that as I was simultaneously working on myself. So, fast forward to five years of mostly self-work through wellness and health. It helped me fix a lot of areas in my life that were not working (career, relationships, friendships, family, and my health). I started getting really into yoga and meditation. And I started to see what when I changed my life starting with me…
A: It trickles down. It’s a domino effect.
G: Yeah. And I knew there was something there, but I didn’t know what it was. In 2015 I went to Tulum to do a meditation retreat and I got the idea of doing De La Heart to being able to share what I have learned, the journey and inspiring people to do the work for themselves. For two years I struggled because I didn’t like the attention, I didn’t want to put my personal life out there and share so much then. So it took me two years to be able to share at the point that I share today. So in 2017 I finally put a website together and I started writing. I have a retail and fashion background, so I knew at some point something was going to align and it would work for this to be a business. I didn’t know it was going to be the skincare line we have today. This platform tries to inspire women to try and go for it as well.
A: Well that’s one of the things that drew me to your page. I feel like a lot of the times, especially once you become a mom, and in my case I became a mom so young and I had them so back-to-back that I feel like I know who I am, but I’m mom first. In my relationship with my husband I don’t feel that way. I still feel like the 18 year old who met him (a collective awwwwww please) but in every other aspect, I’m Santi, Joaquin and Antonio’s mom first. So when I saw your page–I was like YES–we can have it all! You can be a bad ass mom, be an amazing wife, have a business, putting yourself first in certain aspects of your life isn’t going to make you a worse person or a worse mom. I feel like that’s the guilt that I carry with me–I have to put them first.
G: Yeah and as soon as I thought I had everything figured out I became a mom. So it has been challenging.
People talk a lot about Mom guilt. Have you ever felt that?
G: All the time! All the time because my business came before my baby but they’re both equally important. I love what I do but it’s also my daughter–they’re not even at the same level…so sometimes I’ll say “maybe I’ll let De La Heart go and be a mom” and then something inside of me is not OK with it.
A: Yeah, because DLH is part of who you are. You made it, it came from a passion of yours.
G: Right–so when I’m working (she has a home offie–way before Covid–way before it was cool) I hear her upstairs with the nanny and I’m like “omg did she just giggle? I’m missing out! Was that her first giggle?”
A: It’s the worst. I went through it with my first and second because I went back to work immediately. You want them to be so happy and you don’t want to say “I don’t want you to be happy with anyone else,” because that’s mean but can you laugh with me first?
In the end, though, it all balances out. Her home runs are the messages that she gets saying that they stumbled upon her page and their health has improved. Her journey has inspired them. Her page will never tell you what to do because everyone is different–she gets that. The important thing is to find the “sweet spot.” The work is the same–we all have to do the work but our outcomes are different. Then she gave me advice about making the time for myself (which I’m now currently doing) and making time for my husband (which I probably do too much).
How has your life changed since becoming a Mom? Not just your life in terms of “oh I have no time for anything,” but your relationships? With yourself, your husband, your friends? Did you expect the shift?
A: I remember when I had my first, I didn’t expect the shift to be that big. And my relationship with my husband is one of the things that I value the most. We’ve known each other forever and he’s the love of my life, so I want him to be happy, I want us to be happy, we want to raise happy and healthy boys, but if we’re not on the same page and we’re not happy, the boys fall through the cracks. So that shift was so big. When Santi was born I remember thinking, “omg this world is upside down.”
G: I didn’t to be honest. I expected a lifestyle shift. I didn’t expect how much it would change the dynamic in my marriage. My husband and I are going to be married 3 years, we’ve been together 4. From the moment we met we were really hot for each other, and this really strong love and it was just this sexy, hot, young marriage. Young and wild, and then we had this baby and there is breastfeeding and it’s all of a sudden not so sexy anymore. I’m learning to navigate it–it’s been interesting. It’s taken our marriage to the next level. We feel more connected but we also feel more responsible. Now I say all the time, “I know now why people get divorced. I know why people withdraw.” It’s so much.
A: It’s a lot!!!
G: That was something I wasn’t expecting. It’s been new and different but I feel like we’re finding it. We’re getting good at it.
A: (and just cause being the barer of bad news looks so cute on me) Yeah, and just as you guys get super good at it, another huge change comes! It keeps you on your toes–it’s good.
You’ve been vocal about miscarrying. How was the transition from being excited you’re welcoming a baby to suddenly realizing it’s not going to happen?
A: This is something I’ve never dealt with and I’m actually trying to catch myself now because I feel like I make insensitive comments. Obviously not on purpose, but I’ll say things like “oh, my husband looks at me and I get pregnant,” because we’re both so fertile.
G: I think we all think like that. You want to get pregnant, and then you do, and then there’s a baby! So I never had that disability of the whole fertility struggle that so many people go through. For that reason I wanted to be open and share my experience. For my entire life I didn’t want a baby. And then one day I did, and it was so easy. I got off birth control and got pregnant immediately. And then there is this excitement and then there’s this like… “Ok well what does this mean? Who am I? What’s going to happen? Does this mean I can’t get pregnant?” It was really a space to go in. For me, I needed to just learn to love my body and appreciate it for what I can do, more than for how it looks. I didn’t understand how amazing a woman’s body is and what it can really do. And throughout my two pregnancies, you know one was short-lived but even if it’s 3 months, or 5, or 7…
A: It’s your baby.
G: Yes, it’s my baby. And there are all these plans that grow with it–even if they’re only in your head. You envision it, and then that’s gone and it was hard. But I knew I could get pregnant, it was only a matter of divine timing. I really had to surrender and accept that it wasn’t my baby and it wasn’t the right time and love myself, work on myself and my marriage. When the timing is right…you know I have this Virgo energy..
Ok, so far–I love Gigi. Like, I’m inspired 100% but I don’t understand what a Virgo energy is because I don’t believe in Horoscopes. SORRY.
G: Everything has to be on a routine and on time and almost perfect. So there was a lesson for me there, to surrender and know there are things that are not for your to control. So that was a huge lesson. And I wanted to share it. So many women told me they had one too.
A: I never talk about miscarriages because I’ve never had one, but I asked people to message me if they had to see if I do a Mom Talk about it and I got flooded with DM’s from moms who have suffered one and gone through that journey. It’s so tough because we’re all in this together. Motherhood is a tribe but even within that tribe we are segregated because we don’t all have the same outcome or some people aren’t as vocal..
G: And then I got Shiva. She’s amazing.
How was your pregnancy with Shiva? Were you nervous going into every appointment?
G: My pregnancy with her was a dream. Everything went…textbook. I had a low lying placenta in the beginning so I was being monitored to make sure I didn’t have Placenta Previa but when the baby grew, it moved away and moved up. It just worked out that I made the decision to not have the baby in the hospital and I moved to a home birth and everything just worked itself out. And she’s one little healthy, happy angel.
You labored ALL DAY LONG with no epidural and no antibiotics. You’re my hero. Is this how you always imagined giving birth? How did you find your birthing team? The midwife, the doula? How did your OBGYN feel about not having a “traditional” birth at a hospital?
A: Ok, so I have a lottttt of questions about this. I believe in mediation and I understand all of that stuff. But I had three births. The first two were seamless. The last one was in the middle of the pandemic and my epidural didn’t work. I had my baby in 4 minutes and I thought I was going to die. So, I have to undertstand, how you labored ALL DAY LONG.
G: I never imagined it. I was never the girl who wanted children, so I had never gone as far to imagine what I wanted my births to look like. It was never a thought for me. I met my Doula through mutual friends at a party and I told her I wanted her to be my Doula once I got pregnant. I have a different approach to health–I don’t go to the traditional, normal doctors. I always seek out alternative medicine first, unless of course, it’s something serious or major that needs conventional medicine. I’m not anti either one, but I get the best out of both. But I do try to do alternative first.
A: Do you have an OBGYN?
G: I did! When I was pregnant and I went to my OBGYN in Mt. Sainai. I went to my appointments and it just started to feel disconnected. You know, I’m very spiritual and the whole experience to me in the hospital felt very external. There was no connection. He didn’t remember the sex of my baby, my name.. It was more like people in and out…It felt very external and something inside of me didn’t feel like that’s the way I wanted to bring my baby into the world. I wanted a little more affection, spiritual experience. I wanted to make it an opportunity for me to go deeper. My Doula really walked me through what a birth really was. She educated me. I knew that if everything was perfect and normal, I wanted to move it to be a home birth. Once I was cleared from my low placenta, I fully moved to my midwife care.
She told her Doctor she was planning for a home birth and his response was that he wasn’t a back up (ewwwwww Doctor–insert Alexis Rose’s voice here). He walked her through all the things that could possibly go wrong, but in her heart, she just knew it would be OK.
G: I had a beautiful birth. It was exactly what I wanted–it was a ritual. Now when I say 17 hours, it didn’t feel like it. It felt like I was suspended in time.
A: I feel like the day you become a mom it’s always going to be like that. But I really commend you. I have, thankfully, a very good relationship with my OBGYN–I take gifts for everyone at the hospital because I want them to like me and help me. So this last birth was a shock because I was in so much pain I wasn’t prepared. You knew what you wanted, you were able to mentally prepare. I feel like that makes such a difference because it was a choice.
G: I was preparing because everyone I spoke to told me how intense it was and they also felt they were dying so I prepared for something way, way harder. I was pleasantly surprised–it wasn’t easy by any means, but it wasn’t as hard as I thought.
A: You’re my hero–I can’t believe you did that.
G: For me, it was all in my mind. I knew what I was going in to, I was prepared…Having a kid is hard–no matter if you had an epidural or had it in the woods–it’s equally challenging. Every woman that can do this is a hero. I now look at moms with such different eyes. Like wow, you have three.
A: Once you become a mom you now wear this badge–like even if you didn’t give birth to them–becoming a mom changed who I am as a woman. Not just a person, but as a woman. The way that I see other women or think about them–it empowered me so much more.
G: I was always a guys girl growing up. Now that I’m a mom, I feel like I’m able to relate to women in a way I wasn’t able to before. Now it’s like, you’re my sister. It’s a very new connection and I love talking to moms and asking questions. I think it’s really empowering to have this community that DLH allows me to have.